Charles Duhigg recently published a book called, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do.” It’s a powerful book that explains the importance of habits.
Surprisingly, habits make up 40-45% of our actions every day. It might sound scary because almost half of the things we do are done with little thought, but this is actually great because habits have incredible potential to free up your mind to focus on other things. Instead of having to think through what you need to do every morning (i.e., brush your teeth, take a shower, eat breakfast, make your bed, etc.), you can do those things out of habit, freeing yourself to think about more important things. This is why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same t-shirt to work everyday; he doesn’t want to waste the mental time and energy choosing an outfit each morning. He wakes up with a mind focused on bigger issues.
Especially as a Christian, I’m concerned about where my mind is at in the morning. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all the things to do that I can forget about God. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. You wish that more often you had the attitude of “in the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.”
I want that attitude everyday. I want my mind to be free to roam God’s glory, to be free to ponder His new mercies toward me. In other words, I want a morning habit that focuses me on God.
That kind of morning sets me on a good path for the rest of the day. Just like exercising or eating a good breakfast in the morning provides momentum to keep living healthy throughout the day, so waking up with God’s glory in mind propels me into a day of seeking after Him.
These are called keystone habits. They’re not just good habits, they’re good habits that domino into other good habits.
Think about it. How many times have you had an absolutely crummy day and could trace it back to a morning absent of God? If you’re like me, there’s almost always a correlation. Time without God makes for a bad morning, and a bad morning usually makes for a bad day.
I’m suggesting three things for you to consider every morning, three things to propel you into a day of seeking after God. They’ve worked wonderfully for me so I want to share them with you. The three things are categories of thought to hang specific considerations. I’ve provided a few suggestions of specific considerations within each category below, but it’s probably best for you to think of your own. I’m simply giving you an idea of what each category is like. Some mornings I ask myself only one question from each category, while other mornings I spend more time within each one. It’s flexible. Mostly just pay attention to the categories in bold along with the key word that follows.
But first let me summarize it: every morning map where your heart is at, marvel at God’s glory, and begin moving toward what God would have you do that day.
Lord, where is my heart? What is my soul longing for most? What have I been living for? Have I been growing? Am I sensitive to your Spirit?
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I have a post-it note right next to my bed in order to remind me of this every morning (see photo below), and it’s getting to the point where my mind automatically considers each one of these when I wake up.
If you think this will benefit you, then I suggest you do the same by putting it in a place that will continually remind you to ponder, praise, and plan until this becomes a habit. I pray God will use this to continually set you on a trajectory of loving Him and living for Him every morning.